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tv   Book TV  CSPAN  July 17, 2011 4:00pm-5:00pm EDT

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addressed. and yet the media are in a position now because of these two simultaneous factors when it's an act of bravery to report that. [applause] >> i'm sorry, we don't have time for anymore question. thank you all for coming. [applause] .. ♪ >> tell us what you are reading
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this summer. send us a tweet at book tv. >> next, david nichols presents the history of the suez canal crisis that occurred nine days prior to the 1956 presidential election and resulted in president dwight eisenhower's decision to place american military forces on high alert, condemned the attacks on egypt and alternately lead to a cease-fire announced on election day, november 6th, 1956. it's about an hour. >> good evening. welcome to the atlanta history center. i'm sal cilella. this is another livingston lecture, which is made possible through a dead generous support of the livingston foundation of atlanta, and we are ever so grateful to them to do their support our next lecture will be held may 16th and will feature james b. stewart, author of
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tangled webs, how false statements are undermining america from martha stewart to bernie madoff. i have seen some of the previews of this book, and you would be well advised to be here. it's fascinating. also, join us for a lecture featuring the best selling author of double in the white city, eric larsen. he will be discussing his new book, in the garden of peace, love, terror, and an american family in hitler's berlin. tonight's lecture is being recorded by c-span. check your local listings for the broadcast day. you can see it again. at this time of what like to ask you to please turn off all your cell phones or pagers, in the electronic devices that might disrupt our program, or as the delta airlines flight attendants says, turn off everything that doesn't keep you alive. delta air lines.
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cheeky. our other this evening is david nichols. he will speak for about 40 minutes and take questions. david nichols is a leading expert on the eisenhower presidency. this evening he will discuss his new book, "eisenhower 1956". the christian science monitor called it one of seven history books worth checking out in 2011. he is the author of a matter of justice, eisenhower and the beginning of the civil rights revolution and the lincoln and the indians. he holds a ph.d. and he currently resides in kansas. please join me in welcoming david nichols to our stage. [applause] [applause] >> thank you. and it is an honor to be here. to be with people who love history. that is always the best audience one can ever have. and cripple. first, we need ted shootdown the
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nasty rumor that has been going around that my publisher, simon and schuster stirred up all the trouble in the middle east just saw my book. that is not true. not true. this is also a day when the news is telling us that, once again, and author at least to allegedly has been making up stuff. i want you to know that this book excepting some commentary in the conclusion, not a phrase is in it that is not rooted in a document or in compelling circumstantial evidence. eisenhower -- "eisenhower 1956" is a new story in so many respects because it is based on hundreds of top-secret documents that have been declassified since the last major book on the suez crisis was published 30 years ago. when i get done with a presentation, those of you who have not read the book -- and i
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assume most of you have not -- will think you know the story. please read the book, because the book is better than the speech. i guarantee it. i know the book they read it is above all a deep story about the man we call affectionately tight. a word about this complex man. eisenhower was a military man, but he was not militaristic. he did not think that war was often a solution to anything. he was slow to pick up the sword. his public persona, the grandfatherly man with a big smile, was largely his personal invention. behind the scenes he was strategically rigorous and a tough-minded commander in chief. the people who work for him never doubted who was in charge. eisenhower was a citizen of the world more than any other president, yet he never forgot where he came from. that is why his presidential library is in abilene, kan.,
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close to where i live. he was not a professional politician, yet one of the most successful in our history. supreme the protective. he did not hesitate to use a board that's like secretary of state as lightning rods for controversial policies that were a creation. he had a temper that exploded like a rocket. but at tense moments requiring great decisions he was unfailingly cool, colin, and deliberate. this was a profoundly religious man who had prayers' at the beginning of cabinet meetings, yet when that famous temper erupted he could turn the air blue with profanity and did so frequently. above all eisenhower saw himself not as a warrior but as a peacemaker. that is what this book is about. tonight at a time of war and
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unrest in the middle east, it is fitting we review the most dangerous international crisis of the eisenhower presidency, that crisis was also in the middle east. this is the tale of the nail biting traumas, trauma number one begins on september 203rd 1955 in colorado on the golf course. dwight eisenhower had not enjoyed a vacation so much in years. believe it or not the president of the united states had himself cooked a huge breakfast that morning for his fishing buddies. the gulf was the president's party for the day. after a briefing at his air force base office eisenhower headed to the country club. ice secretary remember that she had never seen him look or act better. eisenhower's golf game was interrupted four times that day with phone calls from the secretary of state. now, this is before cell phones.
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an irritated and probably profane eisenhower had to return to the clubhouse for each call, only one of which actually get through. that call was important. those confirmed that the soviet union had made in arms deal with egypt. he knew that this bold move would open a new chapter in the cold war and they agreed that the president should send a message to soviet premier nikolai bulganin. the president wanted to think about it overnight. he told policy would call him the following morning. that phone call was never made. ike went back. his game deteriorated. as the day wore on the president experienced a growing discomfort and declined his usual evening drink, have little appetite for dinner, and retired early. in the middle of the night he appeared. i have a pain across the lower
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part of my chest. since he had complained earlier about in digestion she gave her husband milk of magnesia. at 2:54 a.m. she called dr. howard snyder, the president's physician who rushed to the white house. schneider initially put out the word that this was a digestive upset when he knew it was a massive heart attack. he waited until mid afternoon that day before transporting the president to fitzsimmons army hospital, and even then had him walk to his car instead of calling an ambulance. if you want more detail on the mismanagement of the situation you have to read the book. i don't have time tonight. eisenhower was in the hospital for six weeks. in those days the gold standard for treatment of heart attack patients was total pet rest. his doctors would not permit him to read a newspaper, watch a movie, listen to a football game
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on the radio, let alone to a serious presidential business. he did not take a step across his term for a month. this incredibly active man felt like a caged animal. so at the very moment the soviet union intended to change the balance of power in the middle east eisenhower was out of commission. secretary of state john foster dulles was on his own, unable to consult with the president as he normally did. let us bury once and for all the myth that ellis ran american foreign policy in the eisenhower years. everyone close to both men, and i have talked with a number of them, knew that eisenhower was in charge. like eisenhower right eisenhower was out of the white house for three and a half months except two nights on his way to recuperate at gettysburg.
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, number two is the one that the heart patient so restricted to his other activities, whether he should run for a second term in 1956. i am satisfied that he always intended to run. in the age of roosevelt you had to have a second term to be a great president, and i wanted to be a great president. the heart attack raised the enormous question of whether physically he could run. he repeatedly discussed possible successors. none of cone had a snowball's chance in hell of getting nominated, let alone connected -- elected. the only republican with sufficient stature to run was chief justice earl warren of the supreme court. if you want to know why i threw cold water on that option you have to read my other book. civil rights, chapter five. that will tell you all about it. eventually he shut down every
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argument against running and convinced himself that he would be healthier serving men retiring. he also feared that no one else could prevent a nuclear holocaust. in january 1956 eisenhower was informed that in a nuclear exchange with the soviet union 65 percent of the american population would be casualties. years later chief of staff sherman adams said would surely applies to president obama today , the real reason the president wants to run again is because he does not think anybody else can do as good a job as he is doing. after waiting so long that no one else could put together -- he really did wait a long time. so long that no one else could put together a viable candidacy, he announced his candidacy on february 291956.
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number three is about the dam. a swan. that project on the nile river was a seabed for the suez crisis. in the centerpiece was the plan for egyptian progress. historians often ignore the fact that eisenhower attempted to resolve the arab-israeli conflict that endures to this day. august 261955 john foster dulles publicly announced the administration's plan code-named alpha for resolving the arab-israeli conflict. that plan reads like it was written in 2011, discussing borders, palestinian refugees, holy places, except. in the plan there would have a carrot to entice them to make
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peace. like most mideast peace plans it was dead on arrival. once he began to recover eisenhower revise the question. in december 1955 he persuaded the national security council that the united states should make an offer that would have of soviet financing of the dam. however, in the following months the negotiations with the egyptians broke down. i pay little attention to those negotiations. he was preoccupied with his health, the decision about running for a second term, and beginning the campaign. by june 7th, 1956, eisenhower appeared to have recovered from his heart attack. that morning he presided over a national security council meeting, had another 15 appointments, and practiced golf he read that evening he attended the white house news photographers' dinner and stayed up until midnight, a schedule his doctors would have vetoed.
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the president's guard doc -- dropped dr. snyder of this home and i retired to his bed almost immediately. the doctor was removing his clothes when the phone rang. snyder reached for it with a shudder. only the first lady could be calling at such an hour. this is another anguishing medical drama that i'm sorry to say again, but you're going to need to read the book. it turned out that he had an obstruction in his upper intestine which the doctors called ileitis. thirteen doctors agonized for hours over whether to stick a knife in a president who had suffered a heart attack. they waited until 2:00 a.m. on saturday, june 9th to operate. dr. snyder later opined the surgery would have taken place hours earlier if the patient had been plane. once again eisenhower was out of
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commission for weeks. the middle east, the timing could not have been worse. by the time he returned to the white house on july 15th 1956 john foster dulles decided to withdraw the american offer of aid to the project, largely because congress was opposed to it. on july 19th 1956, important date, dallas and a 12 minute meeting, 12 minutes, obtained eisenhower's decision to withdraw the offer of aid. he was not on top of the issue. his recovery from surgery had been difficult. he had been plagued with bouts of depression. that afternoon dulles and formed the british ambassador of the decision. the next day dollars proudly told friends that the united states had made a big chess move and that it was in a hell of a
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spot. a week later in retaliation he nationalized the suez canal company. he would use its profits to build the dam. the british and french controlled that company for decades. two-thirds of the oil came through the canal. now it was the united states and its allies that were in the hellespont. immediately the british and french prepared to go to war. eisenhower was adamant that war was not justified. egypt, he said, had a right to nationalize the canal because it was located in egyptian territory. the only question was whether the egyptians would keep the canal open and functioning effectively. eisenhower shirt off the lingering effects of surgery.
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for three months he and ellis made frantic efforts to keep the british and french talking instead of fighting. still shellshocked from world war two, you have to remember in this context, only 11 years later, still shellshocked, the british and french made into another hitler. by late september 1956 eisenhowers allies gave up on him and any support. they implemented a program of blatant deception. the failures of american intelligence in this crisis. the cia did not foresee the nationalization of the canal and completely missed the plotting among the british, french, and his release. now for the plot. on wednesday, october 245th, 1956 in a villa outside paris the french foreign minister, prime minister of israel, and
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the deputy undersecretary of state for great britain signed a secret protocol providing that israeli troops would invade the sinai peninsula on october 29th. this was the plan. once the israelis advanced toward the canal zone britain and france would issue an ultimatum to israel and egypt to cease fighting and except anglo-french occupation of the canals on if, as expected, egypt rejected the ultimatum britain and france would begin bombardment of egypt on october 301st followed by a troop landings. remember, this was a secret. it was not in the newspapers to read what was in the newspapers that day was that the soviet union had sent troops into budapest, hungary, killing dozens of protesters. eisenhower knew nothing of the secret meeting in paris. that day intelligence advisory committee chaired by cia
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director allen dulles, the brother of john foster dulles, assumed that war was not imminent and postpone the for the revision of the intelligence estimate. the committee ignored an fbi report that an unnamed country was considering military action against. on monday, october 29, eisenhower campaigning in florida was handed a note as he boarded his plane. the note said that the israeli army had attacked egypt and israel's forces had driven to within 25 miles of the suez canal. back at the white house that night and angry and profane eisenhower ordered secretary dulles to fire a messes to the israelis telling and that we are going to apply sanctions. we're going to the united nations and will do everything so that we can stop this thing. he knew that if the suez canal was disrupted or pipelines
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destroyed the british and french attack. he did not know, of course, they already planned to. if the british intervened, i said, they may open a deep rift between the spirit with the election eight days away eisenhower declared that he did not care in the slightest whether he was reelected or not. on october 30 of the british and french implemented to the letter the secret plan that they had endorsed, to reform the fourth. they delivered a 12 hour ultimatum to cease military operations, withdraw forces 10 miles from the suez canal and accept occupation of the canal zone by anglo-french forces. the british and french mistakenly assumed that once they acted the world war ii allies in the white house would bail them out with funds, oil, and military equipment. they were wrong. instead an angry eisenhower told
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an aide, those who began this operation should be left to boil in their own oil. that night the u.n. security council, the british and french vetoed an american resolution calling for a cease-fire. less than a half-hour later the deadline for the french ultimatum expired and the largest naval armada seen in the eastern mediterranean since world war ii steamed toward egypt. the next morning, wednesday, october 301st, eisenhower was heartened by news that soviet troops had pulled back from budapest, hungary and that the soviet government had dreits ine non-interference in the internal affairs. in egypt they confirmed that british planes were bombing airfields, ports, railways, and communication centers turning neatly parked rows of aircraft into burning, smoking wreckage.
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his troops sank a 320 ft. long ship loaded with rocks and samantha. the first of 32 ships. eisenhower concluded that he should address the nation that night, october 31st. dulles, sick and exhausted, wrote a draft of the address. ike ready to, declared it an absolute disaster. late in the afternoon he ordered a new speech be written. minutes before the broadcast in the oval office the speech writer fed the speech to the president of pages time across the table. the speech was short and terse. eisenhower reveal that given the veto of the security council he had taken the unprecedented step of appealing to the united nations general assembly. the united states was not consulted in any way a lot in
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the face of these actions, eisenhower said, nor were we informed them in and vance. he pledged, there will be no united states involvement in these present hostilities. and woodman describe to the day as another day of great crisis. sherman adams, this the worst week that eisenhower experienced in all the years i worked with him at the white house. that morning the president was besieged with rumors that the soviets were planning to deploy aircraft on syrian basis. he asked the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff whether the russians might have slipped some atom bombs to the egyptians eisenhower canceled all campaign events except the one scheduled for philadelphia that night, november 1st.
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and whitman recalled that the fighters had to go to the train to complete the speech in time. in philadelphia in convention hall ike looked out at 18,000 partisans fully expecting a rousing campaign speech. instead he launched into what a columnist called a high level speech by man his but not as a republican partisan but as president of all the countries. eisenhower states that the nation had pursued a path of honor by a standing against the use of force in both hungry and egypt. the united states, he said, cannot and will not condone armed aggression no matter who the attacker and no matter who the victim. we cannot in the world any more than in our nation subscribe to one for the week, one for those
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opposing us and another for those aligned with us. there can be only one, or there will be no peace. the president concluded. we believe that the power of modern weapons makes more not only perilous but preposterous. and the only way to win world war three is to prevent. eisenhower was completely drained by four days of unrelenting crisis. he drank too sketches before dinner and three highballs afterwards, arriving at union station at 12:29 a.m. november november 2nd. on friday morning, november 2nd, eisenhower learned that at 4:00 a.m. did general assembly passed the american cease-fire resolution by a vote of 64-5 with, surprisingly, the soviet union
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voting in favor. democratic candidate adlai stevenson was harshly critical of the situation. we have alienated our chief and strongest european allies. we have alienated israel. we have alienated egypt, and the arab countries. the united nations, our main ssc in the least in maddens now appears to be the soviet union. at the very week when the red army has been shooting down the brave people of hungary and poland, i doubt if ever before in our diplomatic history has any policy in such an complete and catastrophic failure. ike was not sleeping well. his doctor was concerned. the president's blood pressure was volatile. his heart skip beats. he suffered constant abdominal discomfort and diarrhea.
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the records at the eisenhower library are marvelously detailed. one day i really did, i told one of the staff that daily reports of the president's diarrhea was just a little more informations and i really wanted or needed. then late in the night of november 2nd john foster dulles was priced to walter reed hospital where the next morning doctors removed a cancerous tumor from his colon. on saturday morning november 3rd the news from the middle east was a dismal. syrian saboteurs had blown up oil pipelines running through their country. egyptian troops for pouring into cairo to defend the capitol, and anglo-french had destroyed the egyptian air force on the
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ground. eisenhower's political opponents continued to fiercely attacked his policies. eleanor roosevelt accused the administration of favoring the arabs over israel and asserted that britain and france had been brought to the point of desperation by american policy. it leaves us in a very strange position, she says, supporting the kremlin and an egyptian dictator against our oldest and strongest allies. six of the eight democratic members of the senate foreign relations committee publicly agreed with stevenson and roosevelt that the president's middle east policies had failed. eisenhower, they declared, had presided over four years of indecision, tactless nests, to mitty, and blundered. that night, november 3rd, stevenson asserted the president's age, health, and the fact that he cannot succeed
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himself make it inevitable that the dominant figure in the republican party under a second eisenhower term would be richard nixon. stevenson asked the crowd, do you want to place the hydrogen bomb in his hands? on sunday, november 4 if, dwight eisenhower had the perfect storm. at 4:00 a.m. the soviet union ordered 200,000 troops into hungry. tens of thousands of hungarians died or were wounded that day. eisenhower quickly concluded that the united states was in no position to intervene. his allies were tied down with the war in egypt. henry was not accessible by sea, and the american forces could not respond by land without violating the territories of neutral or communist states. meanwhile in the middle east israel now control about the sinai and the gaza strip and held 5,000 egyptians prisoner.
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on monday, november 5th, election eve, british and french paratroopers landed in egypt. suddenly the leaders of the soviet union poured more fuel on the international fire. the premier sent messages alluding to modern weapons of destruction and rocket weapons. we are full of determination to crush the aggressor and to reestablish peace in the middle east by using force. simultaneously he proposed to eisenhower that the united states and the soviet union jointly mobilize their naval fleet to stop aggression and terminate further bloodshed. he warned the president, if this war is not stopped, it is fraught with danger and can grow
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into a third world war. eisenhower and interpreted the proposal as an ultimatum. he drew a line in the sand calling it unthinkable. that was one of his favorite words. unthinkable that the united states would join forces with the soviets when the general assembly had already ordered a cease-fire. unilateral action by the soviet union, eisenhower stated, would be forcefully opposed by the united states, and he ordered the navy's sixth fleet stationed in the mediterranean placed on alert. this was election eve. the stresses are taking a toll on the president. after a tense meeting his doctor found the president's blood pressure and elevated and his heartbeat regular. he laid down and developed a headache. after all, he had only eden a dish of carrots and a glass of
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yogurt since breakfast. the president's agitation, the doctor recorded, was due to what he termed an ultimatum that had been served upon him. i vowed that if he were a dictator he would tell russia if they moved a figure he would drop our entire stock of atomic weapons on. tuesday november 6th was election day. inro's two emily stint even greater turmoil. at a meeting that morning he was somber. our people should be alert. russian planes would inevitably trigger british and french attacks on those air fields. if that happened the fat would be in the fire. he inquired of the chairman of the joint chiefs whether american naval units were
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equipped with atomic anti-submarine weapons. not long after the president left for gettysburg and woodman recalled the news from the middle east looks so bad at one point the white house staff contemplated asking the president to turn around and come back to the white house. rumors were rampant that soviet intervention was a minute. some of the bad news came directly from moscow. the american ambassador cable that the soviet mood had become more ominous and that he feared the soviet leaders were prepared to take military action unless a cease-fire was quickly achieved. the staff hastened the president's return by flying him back instead of having an drive to gettysburg. i arrived at the white house until 38:00 p.m.
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following a short briefing he stormed into the cabinet room where 18 men were waiting. the vice president and the top about the state and the defense department, including the joint chiefs. this was a council of war. the admiral briefed the president. prepared to take readiness for fighting a major war with the soviet union. eisenhower reviewed each step urging careful and deliberate implementation. then the sun broke from behind. the president was informed in the middle of this meeting that the british prime minister was available by phone. eisenhower interrupted a meeting to take the call, and he confirmed in that conversation that he had ordered a cease-fire in egypt. this is a tense conversation and
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much more detail than i am presenting here. tense conversation with a clearly resentful. i can ask it british compliance would be without condition. cs firing tonight at midnight, provided we are not attacked. he had foreseen. he insisted that british technical troops not be used to clear the canal. that would have constituted a defacto occupation. no british or french troops are soviet or american for that matter served in the united nations peacekeeping force. the conversation came when he asked about the os and the election. i replied, we have given our whole thought to hungary in the middle east. i don't give a damn how the election goes.
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i now knew that that peace was still fragile and soviet intentions were still unclear. he ordered implementation of most of the readiness steps that were discussed at disney meeting. that night the joint chiefs put the sixth atlantic and pacific fleets on battle ready alert and deploying additional ships, submarines, and tactical resources. heavy troop carrier wings on the 12 hour alert. about 10:00 p.m. the eisenhower party traveled to the hotel in washington where as we had been reserved for launching the election returns. now, as you all know, the president won reelection by a huge margin. but i did not go downstairs to address to supporters until 1:45 a.m. because his reluctant to potent, adlai stevenson, waited until then to make a concession speech. meanwhile, hours earlier,
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approximately 2:00 a.m. cairo time, 7:00 p.m. in washington d.c., the fighting ended in the middle east. and much too brief. after november 6th eisenhower continued to be concerned responsibility of soviet intervention because the british, french, and israeli declined to withdraw forces even though there had been a cease-fire. eisenhower adamantly refused to provide oil, financial support to his bankrupt allies, and they were truly bankrupt. a run on the pound. the british finances were in terrible shape. he refused to provide support. the allies were facing a cold winter. he would give them nothing until the publicly committed themselves to withdraw. it got so intense that in paris cabdriver's refuse to pick up americans. gas stations declined to sell
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fuel. it took a month to get the commitment and another month for withdrawal. israeli withdrawal took even longer. a huge story that i don't have time to get into. they evacuated the sinai, but refused to leave the gaza strip. they continued to occupy those two spots. finally after presidential pressure on march 1st 1957 the israeli government announced its intention to withdraw. a big story about this because politically this was a hot potato. then there is the eisenhower doctrine. in a four hour meeting with congressional leaders who else but dwight eisenhower can hold a 40 hour meeting on new year's day. eisenhower presented resolutions
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to those leaders endorsing military and economic aid to the middle east and if necessary military intervention by the united states. the house passed a resolution on january 30th, the same day that there was a state visit. now, he insisted that the president come to the airport to greet him, something that he had never done with any other foreign leader. but saudi oil had its clout. he finally agreed to go. he grumbled now he would have to agree everybody at the airport in the future. the eisenhower doctrine passed the senate on march 5th. in a breathtaking two months the white eisenhower persuaded the congress and the and the states to dramatically reorient american policy toward the middle east.
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the eisenhower doctrine command in the united states to replacing the british as the security, including oil resources in the middle east. for good or ill, as president obama has experienced the last few weeks, for good or ill that obligation is still the cornerstone of american policy. thank you. >> if you have questions, please come up to the microphone. >> use the microphone, folks. no such thing as a dumb question. or comments. contrary comment. it's all right.
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>> that was a great talk. thank you very much. i had a question. to the obama ministration contact you about their involvement in libya? if not, did you find similarity in how he dealt with libya in comparison with the suez canal incident? >> no, they had not. they have not talked with me. i am meeting with former senator hegel tomorrow in washington d.c. who i am told bought 27 copies of the book and gave one to the president, went to the vice president, went to the secretary of defense. i have not talked to the center yet, but my suspicion is he is uncertain that intervention in libya is a good thing. it is always tricky. we have to be very careful about taking a historic figure and applying into a situation 50 or 60 years later, but there are principles.
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eisenhower generally did not like a brushfire wars. he ended the one injury, refused to go into china, refused to go into egypt. he just didn't do it. and he disliked very much marginal military interventions. he believed that if you went in -- : paul gets the credit. often think that general powell ought to remind us that dwight eisenhower talked about that all the time. of course anyway, overwhelming force. marginal trouble, he understood very well the trouble with partial interventions is the spin out of control. they're very hard to manage. the libyan one appears to be that way. i don't know whether the president would want to talk with me about that are not. i am a little concerned about this becoming a stalemate.
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you can have not only a unilateral a quagmire like we have had a couple of other places. yes, sir. >> richard nixon's role in all of this if any? >> a lot of mythology about nixon and eisenhower. you know, i don't want to get too involved. the eisenhower presidency has just been distorted by my for private -- profession shamefully just because people didn't do their research. and one of them, the relationship, i am satisfied he will never kept nixon for a second term if he didn't want. you really have to understand eisenhower to understand that he did not by people. well, that's not true. he kept that doctor. dr. snyder, his old crony. basically he was hikes political
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surrogates. when eisenhower quit campaigning, which he did once this crisis broke out, nixon went out and substituted for him and took on amelie stevenson. nixon also provided much of the support in the congress. i have looked very carefully at what he did with the eisenhower doctrine passage, but i'm sure he played a major role. presiding over the senate. i'm sure he was deeply involved. he was a political opponent and a very skilled one. people forget what else he did. somebody else? yes? >> what was the effect of these events? >> well, eisenhower, the effect, eisenhower save his hide. if eisenhower decided to join with the allies he would have
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been toast. know what you would have done with egypt after that is an interesting thing to speculate. there is no question. you have to remember that in that those days arab nationalists were considered pretty progressive. there were getting rid of royals thrones and the colonial powers. so there were progressive. but what happens, he stays in power. he is followed by sadat and you know who. mubarak, a 28 year-old officer already on the lines at the time of the suez crisis. eisenhower's policy, always unintended consequences. eisenhower's policies open the door for military men to run the middle east. at the same time it would not be
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fair to hang at around eisenhowers neck altogether 50 or 60 years later. nevertheless that was a factor. i'm trying to get somebody at the moment. my prediction is that the military has not finished to egypt. they have been in charge for 60 years, and i will be real surprised if we don't have either a military officer or somebody very close to the military emerged as the next president. yes, sir. >> the site from the fact that they were in different parties, what was eisenhower's relationship with german? >> sir, i don't pretend to be an expert on that. i always forget this. there is a book called harry indyk. that is the correct title. i'm sorry. and forgetting the author's name. i'm an old guy. the part of my brain that remembers things as died.
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[laughter] i get caught sometimes. it was not an easy relationship. having said that, chairman shows eisenhower to head nato. we now know from his diary that he attempted to persuade qaeda as early as 1948 to run for president on the democratic ticket. how serious that was, i have not studied in depth among but we now know. on the other hand it was very tense. the inauguration. eisenhower did not get out of the car and go into the white house as the outgoing president. harry was very offended about that. it was not an easy relationship, although in the book they kind of reconciled years later quite a bit. it was a fairly tense relationship, partly because of the chairman later in an oral history alleged that i'd had wanted to come back and marry
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his driver, case summers be and wanted to divorce and had a written judge marshall about that. truman had taken those letters to the state department and destroyed them. at least one scholar i know of things that german-made that up. i don't know. i'm not qualified. i'm not giving you a good answer because i'm not an expert. i'm sorry. >> i had heard that sadat had made a statement years later that nasa told him because we did not back our allies that the united states cannot be trusted. they became allies with the soviets. is that true? >> said i said that to nasser? >> no comment nasser said that is about. >> that is another thing. i know a whole lot about a little. i know a whole lot about what i just talked with you about.
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i couldn't dispute that. i think there is still work to be done on the evolution of things after the eisenhower years. the diplomatic historians, as soon the eisenhower doctrine and policies were abject failures and that he ends up being allies with the soviets. i'm not sure he was ever -- it's true that the soviets helped build the dam. that's true. i'm not sure egypt ever became what you could really call a satellite of the soviet union. he played both sides against the middle. whether the united states to be trusted, you could take that statement and looked at it to a three different ways, couldn't you. certainly the allies didn't think he could be trusted to do what they wanted. i'm sorry it is a poor answer. and just not qualified to answer it any better. >> thank you. >> i think, if i know my history
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fairly correctly that the role of israel after world war two which was the implementation of the gulf war treaty agreement what was the reluctance to withdraw from gaza? >> you're asking about that, not the creation of israel? >> no, i'm asking about, when he was president and they were going through what, you know, -- how is rare was taking over some of the territories that were not involved in the agreement. >> if you talk about the fulfillment, i only know about the suez situation. i'm not very qualified to speak about the rest. he certainly put enormous pressure on israel to withdraw after the crisis. he appealed to the congress on
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february 20th 1957 for support for that. congress turned in down. he turned around at night and went to the people with a televised address. behind the scenes according to his memoirs he threatens to the israelis to cut off private contributions from american jews to israel, which at that time was really, really major. now, whether he could have done that, i don't know. but in terms of the politics of the estate's eisenhower took extraordinary steps to oppose israel's policies at that time. the earlier stuff i'm not as good on in terms of the creation of the state of israel generally. truman recognized in may of 1948, part of his presidential campaign. that was really imposed by
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george marshall. secretary of state. you have to remember, george marshall. i think there is substantial reason to believe that eisenhower agreed with marshall, certainly keep people in the state department believed the graduate of my school, southwestern college, what a great diplomat here really believed that the creation, the recognition and creation of the state would lead to endless turmoil in the middle east. he was not wrong. that doesn't mean you can support that because there is a dramatic and wonderful story for the state of israel. i am moved untouched by it. the flowers and that kind of situation. i wish i could answer you better. >> to be hanged aryans expect the americans to come to their aid in 1956?
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>> significant evidence that they did expect them to come to their aid. great disillusion. among some of the refugees. hundreds of thousands of refugees. all the united states did was the provision, and i forget the numbers. thousands of refugees came to the country. great disillusionment for that. he was very clear that it cannot be done. this is eisenhower back to our their question, he did not believe in taking on military tasks that could not be completed successfully. he regretted it deeply, but he quickly made the decision. you have to go back to world war two. we have a lot of mythology. the soviet union in world war two, a case could be made that the war would come out very differently.
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the soviet union suffered 35 million casualties estimated on the eastern front. the united states and the allied powers anton 1934. this was a totally said -- totally different situation. britain and france were not available to help. he was widely criticized, much more so. my book does not do justice to that particular subject, i regret to say. >> would you address the eisenhower and vietnam? >> i sound like a broken record. i tell you i know a lot. i do know about that. he clearly made the decision not to intervene in indochina in 1954, particularly to save the french at the siege. he had a number of advisers who
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wanted into. he thought and thought about it and was surrounded by a number of people who thought he should. he went over and came back the next day and said i'm not going to send one soldier to die on those rice paddies. he didn't. having said that, eisenhower left a bit of a mass. the geneva conventions of 1954, i used to teach a course on it. the geneva convention of 54 called for unifying elections in vietnam. those elections never took place because the united states supported in effect the creation of a separate country in south vietnam even though it really wasn't a separate country, never was. the outcome of the cold war. and so his policies otherwise are open to a lot of question. i have not done detailed research on that like i have on this, but he clearly chose,
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typical eisenhower, not to intervene militarily in indochina. he believed that putting ground troops in asia was a fool's errand. i would submit to that american experience validates. anybody else? how are we doing for time? >> one more question. okay. questions, folks. terrific. >> so, along the same lines, eisenhower chose -- was involved in the bay of pigs. that crisis arose soon after his presidency ended and the kennedy administration. his decision to be involved with the freedom fighters in cuba, it sounds inconsistent with all you have said about eisenhower's reluctance to engage.
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>> that is a matter -- the bay of pigs is a matter of some controversy. i cannot resolve it. the historians who attended, i will confuse him now. anyway. i really like kennedy. but the historians have tried to argue that eisenhower really had set this up and kennedy just carried it out. i am convinced and one scholar i know who has seen the documents that eisenhower would have never done it the way that kennedy did. he was through air support, and even the plan with the air support system not look like and eisenhower kind of intervention. eisenhower would have done more less what he did in lebanon in
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1958 when he landed 14,000 troops. i mean, you really believe in the overwhelming force. now, he was open to covered action. we know that in guatemala and ron. he was not an angel when it came to a covert action. the cuban invasion is a strange phenomenon. the cia, if you need to day what contingency plans the cia had you would be horrified. so these contingency plans are around. when the new president came in as every officer does, all those people took in the plans to president kennedy and after eight years there were quite a few people who were anxious to have the president do something different. one of the big arguments was the war about whether you could have limited. massive retaliation. limited wars were dangerous. he did not l


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